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Celebrating Akbar Gbajabiamila for his birthday

We look back at photos through the years in honor of his big day.

NBCUniversal Upfront Events - Season 2019 Photo by: Maarten de Boer/NBCUniversal/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

It’s Akbar Gbajabiamila’s birthday!!! The energetic, enthusiastic, pun-loving host of American Ninja Warrior is 42 today and we’re taking a moment to celebrate him.

Akbar joined American Ninja Warrior as a host back in season five. He brought an infectious sense of wonder and awe to the show as he called the runs. He was truly impressed by the competitors at every turn and it showed. Since then, he’s become the king of the puns, and the nick-namer of Ninjas. (You should go back and listen to our interview with Akbar from his book launch. He gives so much wonderful perspective on joining the show.)

Where would American Ninja Warrior be without “I see you” and “ Keep those L’s”?

For Matt Iseman’s birthday, we dug back through old photos of him. Now, it’s Akbar’s turn. So we fired up the good old Getty account, poured some coffee, and started clicking!

Below, enjoy some wonderful photos of Akbar that capture who our beloved host is in front of and away from the camera.

Did you know Akbar was a contestant on “Expedition: Impossible”? He was on a team named... wait for it... The Football Players.

ABC’s “Expedition Impossible”

We had to honor his NFL days!

Oakland Raiders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

There is ample evidence through the years of Akbar possessing an on-point sense of style.

2014 ESPN The Party Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage

Awww, look at him back in season six with Matt! These two are pure joy.

American Ninja Warrior - Season 6 Photo by: Brandon Hickman/Esquire Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Feeling the casual look back in Miami.

American Ninja Warrior - Season 6 Photo by: John Parra/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Giving Giuliana Rancic some red carpet posing tips.

Critics’ Choice Real TV Awards - Arrivals Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Remember when Akbar threw the first pitch for the Philadelphia Phillies? It was glorious and you should watch it again right this very instant.

San Francisco Giants v Philadelphia Phillies

But seriously, LOOK at this style!

Warner Bros. Pictures “Tomb Raider” Premiere - Arrivals Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Pure mood.

NBCUniversal Upfront Events - Season 2018 Photo by: Maarten de Boer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

But in a moment, Akbar will toss his coat to the side and get to work on the obstacles! Because that’s the kind of genuine guy he is.

Today - Season 66 Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

See what we mean?

Red Nose Day Special - Season 4 Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Here he is with Maria Menounos and a cute dog because we felt like adding it in. That’s all.

NBC’s “Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina “ - 2020 Photo by: Erik Voake/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Happy birthday, Akbar! Thank you for all you bring to the American Ninja Warrior community!